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FBI rescues over 200 human trafficking victims, including 84 children

Law enforcement agencies across the country have killed 84 children in a nationwide cleanup campaign called "Operation Cross Country." rescued over 200 sex trafficking victims, including ', the FBI announced on Monday. The youngest victim was 11 years old.  

According to the FBI, authorities have found 84 child sex trafficking victims and 37 of her children who were actively missing during the campaign. Law enforcement officers also located 141 adult trafficking victims.  

In 2021, more than half of human trafficking victims in the United States will be minors, according to his Institute for Human Trafficking. In a news release , FBI Director Christopher Wray cited sex trafficking as "one of the most heinous crimes" the FBI encounters.  

"Unfortunately, such crimes against both adults and children are far more common than most people realize. “As we did in this operation, the FBI and its partners will help find and arrest human traffickers, identify and assist victims, and fight against the exploitation of the most vulnerable.” We will continue to raise awareness.” 

“Operation Cross Country” is just one of many coordinated campaigns. Authorities say they and their partners work daily to investigate and stop trafficking.  

"The initiative will take an intensive period of time focused on the issue of child sex trafficking," said Jose Perez, the FBI's division chief overseeing violent crime investigations. ,said in another news release

More than 200 state, local and federal partners and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) conducted 391 operations in his two weeks in August. . 

“The success of Operation Cross County reinforces what NCMEC sees every day. Children are being sexually abused in communities across the country by traffickers, gangs, and even families. are being bought and sold for," said Michelle DeLaune. Center President and CEO. 

Investigators also identified or arrested 85 of her suspected child sexual exploiters and traffickers, officials say. 

"The Department of Justice is committed to doing everything in its power to combat the insidious crime of human trafficking that devastates survivors and their families," said Attorney General Merrick Garland. 

Michael Lopolo

Michael Lopolo is a reporter for CBS News. He covers a wide range of topics including science and technology, crime and justice, and disability rights.

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